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Smart Snacks in Schools

E​ffective July 1, 2014, any food or beverage sold to students on the school campus during the school day must meet federal Smart Snacks standards. This includes food or beverages sold in a la carte sales, vending machines, school stores, snack carts, and fundraisers. Any entity selling food to students is required to maintain records, such as nutrition labels and product specifications.

In this context, 'school campus' refers to all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the school that are accessible to students. 'School day' refers to the period of time from the mid​night before until 30 minutes after the end of the official school day. ​​

This rule DOES NOT apply to:

  • Foods sold after school hours
  • Foods sold off school campus
  • Foods sold exclusively to adults
  • Foods given to students at no charge
  • Foods brought from home for student consumption


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines a fundraiser as an event or activity during which students exchange currency/tokens/tickets, etc., for the sale/purchase of a product in support of the school or school-related activities. The Smart Snacks regulations apply only to products intended to be consumed during the school day.

Examples of fundraisers include:

  • Giving away food but suggesting a donation
  • Vending machine when the profits are used to support a school-sponsored club or activity such as the school band or football team
  • Special treats sold during lunch hour by a student organization
  • Bake sales offered to students
  • Pizza sold in the classroom

Fundraiser Exemptions

The Georgia State Board of Education approved 30 exempted fundraisers per school per school year not to exceed 3 days in length. However, there are time and place restrictions. Exempted fundraisers cannot operate anywhere on the school campus 30 minutes before until 30 minutes after the end of breakfast and lunch meal services. Exempted fundraisers cannot be in vending machines, school stores, snack bars or a la carte sales. Fundraisers occurring in these venues must meet the Smart Snacks standards. The rule went into effect on September 10, 2014, exempted fundraisers prior to that date are not allowed.

In addition, GaDOE will consider applications for additional exemptions above the board limit on a case by case basis. More information on this process will be forthcoming.

The Bottom Line

If a food or beverage meets the Smart Snacks guidelines, it can be sold anywhere, at any time on the school campus.

If a food or beverage does not meet the Smart Snacks guidelines, then it must be replaced with a compliant product, sold off school grounds, sold 30 minutes after the end of the official school day or be part of an approved, exempted fundraiser.

Tools and Resources

USDA/Georgia Guidance

District Level Sharing